How tCan I create a "Tap Essay" app (without programming...too much)
November 30, 2012 12:50 PM   Subscribe

How can I create a "tap essay" app (such as Robin Sloan's Fish without learning Objective C? I'm a poet, not a programmer! The idea is pretty simple: an app that shows styled text on a page that you tap to go to the next page with the occasional option to tweet the current line, etc.
posted by fncll to Technology (5 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
A few weeks ago Robin Sloan tweeted this: "Did you like Fish? Did you think, hey I'd like to make a tap essay too? Thanks to @betaworks you can! Behold, Tapestry:" It looks like that's what you want!
posted by dreamyshade at 12:54 PM on November 30, 2012

Thanks...that's a pretty cool app. Unfortunately it doesn't provide the control I need, particularly when it comes to the control of typeface and links to tweet, etc. But I am definitely going to play with it some more!
posted by fncll at 1:14 PM on November 30, 2012

For a custom version, I would probably try to cobble together a series of web pages using HTML, CSS and jQuery mobile's pre-built Javascript plugins (check out its transition options), and then add instructions to help people download it to their mobile devices (using the "Add to Home Screen" button on iOS for example). You could also use PhoneGap to help distribute the website as a self-contained app on the various mobile markets.
posted by dreamyshade at 3:42 PM on November 30, 2012

I'm going to nth the HTML/Javascript/CSS option. The web languages are pretty easy to get acquainted with. Javascript is quite a bit like many other programming languages since it uses C-style syntax, and Jquery makes it easy to address elements in a way similar to CSS. It's not the most beginner-friendly language (that'd be Python in my subjective opinion), but it's definitely not too hard to add some basic transitions and animations to your stuff with JQuery. And CSS has a billion typography options (at least, from my non-designer perspective).

As a bonus, if you don't get too crazy with CSS/Javascript where browsers' start to show their unique quirks, it'll be cross-platform to desktop and Android browsers, too. (Note: Different screen resolutions might make that a pain, though. A fixed layout is probably ideal for this kind of thing)

Here's a page from Twitter on how to use their button's API to create a link to tweet something.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:31 PM on November 30, 2012

Thanks... I am relatively good with HTML/CSS and a bit of JS, so that might be the best way to go. I understand that the app store has loosened some of the restrictions for putting apps into the store like this, but perhaps distributing it myself will be better...for now!
posted by fncll at 12:14 AM on December 1, 2012

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